National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA to Participate in Aerial Radiation Training Exercise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

March 17, 2016

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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – On March 21 through March 24, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will participate in a federal and state/local training exercise in Philadelphia that will also include the Philadelphia Police Department and the Departments of Defense, Justice/Federal Bureau of Investigation (DOJ/FBI), and Homeland Security (DHS).

During the daylight hours only, multiple aircraft will be participating in this exercise and will be flying low and slow in areas throughout Philadelphia. Residents should not be alarmed, as there is no danger to the public.

The exercise, involving NNSA’s Aerial Monitoring System (AMS), will practice the deployment of federal and state/local capabilities in the midst of a potential radiological emergency, and test the knowledge and expertise of these agencies to ensure to a unified response in case of an actual emergency. No radioactive materials will be a part of this exercise.

The AMS, and other participating assets, characterizes ground-deposited radiation from aerial platforms. These platforms include fixed wing and rotary wing aircrafts to locate lost radioactive sources, conduct aerial surveys, and map large areas of contamination.